Thursday, January 29, 2015

Playground Review: Blossom Hill Park (Los Gatos)


A delightful find today in Los Gatos: Blossom Hill Park, which stretches between Blossom Hill Road and Shannon Road, near the intersection with Cherry Blossom Lane. 

I had visited Blossom Hill many times as a child for soccer and baseball games, but I always thought the park was limited to the athletic facilities facing Blossom Hill Road -- I never realized the park stretched way back to Sharon Road, and it's on the Sharon Road side that the great playground can be found. Here are my thoughts:


Summary: Blossom Hill offers a very pleasant playground in a peaceful neighborhood setting at the base of the Los Gatos foothills. The playground is an excellent one for older toddlers and school age kids (maybe age 2+). Every structure (there are three main ones, all lots of fun) includes chest-high or higher drop points, so wait until you trust your toddler not to plummet from those before you visit this park. Though the playground is not fenced, it is a sufficient distance from the street to not be a concern. Trees provide some shade on the playground and nearby picnic tables; the trees along the park perimeter shelter a little hidden trail that was one of Toddler X's favorite features. Only negatives: tanbark ground covering, and the bathrooms are a good distance from the playground.


Blossom Hill Park Features:

Parking: Two lots, on Blossom Hill Road and Sharon Road. Park on the Sharon Road side to be near the playground.

Restrooms: Yes, near the baseball field, but a moderate walk from the playground area.

Fenced-in playground: No.

Playground ground covering: Tanbark.

Play structures: Three nice, modern structures, all of which have some features accessible/fun for older toddlers (maybe 2+) and school-age kids. Lots of climbing features, tunnels, and a low to the ground bridge. As I noted above, all of the structures have chest-high or higher drop areas, so this would not be a great playground for an unsteady younger child.

Swings: Two big kid, two baby swings.

Sandbox: No

Shade: Partial.

Picnic tables/bbqs: Picnic tables located close to playground, including a few that are reservable. No bbqs on playground side of the park, but there are some on baseball field side.

Overall setting: Very pleasant. Large, hilly grassy area, plenty of trees, foothills in the background, and obviously a very nice neighborhood.

Crowds: Busy but not packed on a Thursday early afternoon. Located adjacent to an elementary school, so could become crowded after school hours. The baseball fields on the far side of the park mean that the playground is almost certainly crowded on weekends and evenings.

Other park features: Tennis courts, Little League fields.

Additional tips or thoughts: The park is located adjacent to Blossom Hill School, and if you exit down Shannon to Los Gatos Boulevard, you come out right near Fisher Middle School. Take school exit times into consideration!! I didn't, and we had a long wait turning right onto Los Gatos Boulevard from Shannon.

Overall, this is park is nice enough that I would view it as a "destination park" -- not just somewhere to swing by only if you're in the immediate vicinity, but worth a 10-15 minute drive to check out for a picnic or play date with friends. There are other noteworthy parks nearby -- you're not far from Oak Meadow, Vasona, Houge or Belgatos -- but since I like variety, I will definitely start including this in our Los Gatos-area rotation.

Happy toddling!



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